Pharisees: Seven kinds, three characteristics, seven woes

  • They came into existence as a class about the third century B.C.”
  • “There were never any more than six thousand Pharisees in the country. They were known as the “chaburah,” or “the brotherhood.” They entered into this brotherhood by taking a pledge, in front of three witnesses, that they would spend all their lives observing every detail of the scribal law.”
  • “The Pharisees were a Jewish group mentioned, either collectively or as individuals, ninety-eight times in the New Testament, mainly in the Gospels.”
  • “In many ways, the Pharisees were the worst people in the world. They were cold and legalistic. At the same time, the Pharisees were the best people in the whole country. They were the holy men who kept the law; they pursued purity with a passion and wanted nothing more than to live lives that pleased God. They were sincere, albeit sincerely misguided.”
  • “The Pharisees are understood to have made “so many absurd rules that the law became a moral millstone to the pious rather than a gift from God…they came to equate knowing God by being a member of their group.”

Seven Kinds of Pharisees

  • Shoulder Pharisee – Ones who wear their good deeds & righteousness on their shoulder for all to see.
  • Wait-A-Little Pharisee – Ones who intend to do good deeds but never get around to it.
  • Bruiser or Bleeding Pharisee – Ones who turn their heads when they see a woman & keeps running into things.
  • Humpback Pharisee – Ones who bend over & disfigure themselves to show their humility.
  • Always Counting Pharisee – Ones who’re always counting their good deeds and letting others know.
  • Fearful Pharisee – Ones who did good deeds out of fear. (Difference between fearing God & being afraid of God).
  • God-Fearing Pharisees – Ones who acted out of their love for God.

 Three Characteristics of a Pharisee

Matthew 23:1-5

  • They do not practice what they preach.
  • They place heavy burdens on other that they’re not willing to carry.
  • Everything is to be done to be seen by men.
  • “Jesus teaches that a person’s life will reveal his heart.”
  • A godly person will not make themselves the standard.

“Humility says that when our eyes are focused on man, no matter how good the man is, they’re focused in the wrong place.” Human interaction focuses on the wrong things.

Seven Woes of Pharisees

Matthew 23:13-36

From “Second-Mile Servants” by Bill Rasco

  • A barrier to seeking the kingdom (23:13).
  • Shaping people in their own image (23:15).

(1 Corinthians 11:1)

  • Swearing to be seen by men (23:16).

(Matthew 5:37)

  • Neglect the weightier matters of the Law (23:23).

(Transformation touches every aspect of our lives)

  • Looking for a reward in the praise of others (23:25).
  • Whitewashed tombs (23:27).

(Clean looking but full of decay & death).

  • Seeking the death of anyone that takes the attention of themselves (23:29).

(Second mile servants surrender their will).